71% of Americans Would Pay Higher Gas Taxes for Safer Roads – AJOT
The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) has released the results from its 14th annual survey in a series that explores public priorities for the federal transportation program. The survey series also assesses public support for raising transportation revenue through higher federal gas taxes or a new mileage fee.
“A supermajority of the survey respondents, 70%, said they would support raising the federal gas tax rate to make roads and highways safer,” says study co-author Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD. “Perhaps that is because, sadly, so many have experienced collisions.” The survey found that one in six respondents had experienced a motor vehicle collision in just the previous year, whether as a vehicle occupant, cyclist, or pedestrian. Also, one in nine of all respondents had suffered an injury from a collision during the previous year.
Along with safety, respondents wanted to see better road maintenance. As co-author Hilary Nixon, PhD, explains: “When we ask respondents about their overall goals for the transportation system, maintenance has always been a top priority, year after year.” In the 2023 survey, 92% of respondents rated improving road and highway maintenance as a somewhat or very important priority for spending federal transportation dollars. Also, 71% of respondents said they would support raising the federal gas tax rate if the money were dedicated to projects for maintaining streets, roads, and highways.